Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: January 18-24, 2020

Ballotpedia's Weekly Presidential News Briefing
Every weekday, Ballotpedia tracks the events that matter in the 2020 presidential election.

Now, we’re bringing you the highlights from our daily briefings in a weekly format so you can stay up-to-date on the 2020 election with one weekly email.        

Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.

State Spotlight

Notable Quotes of the Week

“The four senators running for the Democratic presidential nomination are leaning heavily on surrogates while they are stuck in Washington serving jury duty on President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

As the Senate trial gets under way in earnest this week, Elizabeth Warren is sending in Representative Ayanna Pressley, Bernie Sanders is putting forward Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Klobuchar is leaning on local officials and Michael Bennet has former Clinton adviser James Carville.

And everyone is sending their spouses.”

– Ryan Teague BeckwithBloomberg

“Whether it’s 10 percent, 12 percent or 15 percent, I suspect the probability our model spits out for a contested convention will strike some of you as high and others of you as low.

On the one hand, a contested convention has historically been a sucker’s bet. Pundits and reporters love to speculate about the possibility. But out of 18 competitive nomination processes since 1972, none has resulted in what’s uniformly regarded as a contested convention, although some arguably were. (I think the 1976 Republican race probably meets the definition of a nomination whose outcome was uncertain when the convention began. Even that was 44 years ago, however.)

On the other hand, a number of other nominations — including the 2008 Democratic race — have come fairly close to resulting in contested conventions. The 2016 Republican convention could also plausibly have been contested if Republicans had used Democrats’ rules. (Trump got a big boost from winner-take-all and winner-take-most states, which Democratic rules do not allow for).”

– Nate SilverFiveThirtyEight

Week in Review

The New York Times endorses Klobuchar and Warren

The New York Times issued a dual endorsement—the first in the newspaper’s history—of Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren on Sunday.

“Both the radical and the realist models warrant serious consideration. If there were ever a time to be open to new ideas, it is now. If there were ever a time to seek stability, now is it,” the editorial board wrote.

Candidates can qualify for Feb. 7 debate by winning delegates in Iowa

The Democratic National Committee released the criteria to qualify for the eighth primary debate on Feb. 7 in New Hampshire.

Candidates need to meet certain polling and fundraising thresholds similar to the January debate’s requirements or receive at least one pledged delegate in the Iowa caucuses. Candidates have until Feb. 6 to qualify.

Joe BidenPete ButtigiegAmy KlobucharBernie SandersTom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren—all of whom participated in the Jan. 14 debate—have already qualified.

Four senators off the campaign trail for impeachment trial

Michael BennetAmy KlobucharBernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren were in Washington, D.C., to vote on procedural matters and hear opening testimony in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump this week.

Over the weekend, Bennet is returning to the campaign trail in New Hampshire, while Klobuchar, Sanders, and Warren are campaigning in Iowa.

Trump speaks in Austin and Switzerland, attends March for Life

Donald Trump spoke at the American Farm Bureau Federation conference in Austin on Sunday and at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday.

He is attending the annual, anti-abortion March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Friday. The organization’s president, Jeanne Mancini, said it will be the first time a president attends the event.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Nina Smith is a Democratic staffer with experience in political communications. Wilson received a bachelor’s degree from Morgan State University and a master’s degree from the George Washington University’s School of Political Management.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2010 Martin O’Malley gubernatorial campaign, political and communications coordinator

Other experience:

  • 2016-present: Megaphone Strategies, managing partner, co-owner, and director of media relations
  • 2016: Young Invincibles, communications director
  • 2014-2016: U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, press secretary
  • 2013-2014: Office of Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-Md.), press secretary
  • 2013:, publicist
  • 2012-2013: U.S. Small Business Administration, deputy press secretary
  • 2011-2012: Prince George’s County Office of the County Executive, community liaison for strategic partnerships
  • 2007-2011: Office of Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-Md.)
    • 2009-2011: Public relations liaison
    • 2007-2009: Senior media events coordinator
  • 2005-2007: Maryland Democratic Party, special assistant to the chairman and youth outreach coordinator

What she says about Buttigieg:

“I feel like Pete really gets it, and really understands the challenges women face, whether it’s pay, taking special consideration for our healthcare, and then finally just our safety. These are issues that need to be taken seriously, and it’s very clear in the policy we’re introducing and putting out there that we are taking them seriously.”

What We’re Reading

Flashback: January 21-24, 2016

  • January 21, 2016: Fergus Cullen, the chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, endorsed John Kasich.
  • January 22, 2016: National Review released a special edition featuring essays from 22 conservatives opposing Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy.
  • January 23, 2016: The Des Moines Register issued primary endorsements for Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio.
  • January 24, 2016: Donald Trump led the Republican field in Iowa and New Hampshire with 34 percent support and 31 percent support, respectively, according to a Fox News poll. Ted Cruz followed in second place in both states with 23 percent in Iowa and 14 percent in New Hampshire.

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